November 28, 2022

Five-term U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright, a Democrat, won a re-election bid in Pennsylvania against conservative activist and former Trump administration appointee Jim Bognet, while campaign attorney Chris Deluzio, also a Democrat, won an open seat in the United States House north of Pittsburgh.

The results in the Scranton-based district echoed those of two years ago, when Bognet lost less than 4 percentage points to Cartwright.

Democrats holding that seat in an area where the GOP has made gains in recent years resonates in Washington, as President Joe Biden spent his early childhood in Scranton.

Bognet cast Cartwright as one of Biden’s closest allies, while Cartwright drew on the cross-partisan appeal that had previously helped him stay in power.

The result is a boost for Democrats’ hopes of holding majority control of the US House of Representatives in January.

In another closely watched congressional race in Pennsylvania, Deluzio defeated Republican businessman Jeremy Shaffer, a former Ross Township commissioner who had marketed himself as a pragmatic problem solver.

Deluzio will represent a district made up largely of voters who elected Democratic U.S. Representative Conor Lamb to Congress in the last two terms. It became vacant for this year’s election when Lamb chose not to seek re-election in what ultimately failed to secure his party’s nomination to the US Senate.

Deluzio’s campaign biography noted his involvement in the effort to establish a faculty union at the University of Pittsburgh last year.

“The union lifestyle is a huge thing here in western Pennsylvania,” said Deluzio campaign manager Matt Koos. “And there is no doubt that the Dobbs decision has put abortion access at the forefront of voters’ concerns.”

Shaffer had said he would position himself in Congress as “a pragmatic, common-sense problem solver” who wants term limits and nonpartisan redistricting policies.

Pennsylvania’s delegation has been redistricted twice in recent years – first due to a legal challenge and again following the 2020 census – and the state lost a congressional seat this year due to its anemic population growth.

In another Pittsburgh-area race, Democratic State Rep. Summer Lee defeated Republican Mike Doyle to fill the congressional seat vacated by the retirement of Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle. The identical names were the source of some confusion during the campaign, and Lee’s Republican challenger used the hashtag #TheRightMike.

In a speech to supporters Tuesday night, Lee nodded.

“When we were against a wall, every time it seemed like it was getting dark, friends came from everywhere,” she said. “When we got into the name confusion and people started asking, ‘What’s going on?’ we brought friends.

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